e~Aurora
A weekly news update from The Alaska United Methodist Conference
AUMC Winter Rendezvous and Special Called Session this week
February 20-22, 2020
Call for Special Session

Materials
Click here for the  Resource Page .

Schedule
Click here for the schedule

Clergy and Deaconesses are required  to attend the pre-conference sessions beginning February 20. Please contact the Superintendent if you cannot attend. Understanding schedule challenges due to work, Lay members to Annual Conference are NOT required but highly encouraged to attend the pre-conference sessions beginning February 20.

Committee members, please check with your committee chairs about the schedule of your committee meetings.

The Conference will only pay for the travel expenses (airfare/mileage) of the clergy person, deaconesses and the lay members to Annual Conference
Conference News
An open letter in support of becoming a Mission District from St. John UMC leadership
12 February 2020

An open letter to our fellow Alaskan United Methodists:

Greetings in the name of our risen Savior and Lord Jesus Christ,

In just a few short days, we will be gathering together for a specially called session of the Alaska Conference of the United Methodist Church to consider one item of business, shall we petition the General Conference to change our status from a Missionary Conference to a Mission District?

Our response to that question is YES. Four years ago, Thomas Kemper, the General Secretary for the Board of Global Ministries made it clear that his intent was to cease having missionary annual conferences within the bounds of the United States. The year 2020 will be our final year in receiving funds from that General board.  Moving forward, we are not large enough to become a stand-alone conference. We believe that a Mission District will provide us with a path forward that allows us to continue to organize for ministry in flexible and sustainable ways for years to come.

Leap Day Pancake Feast Fundraiser
Christ First United Methodist Women are hosting a benefit pancake supper for Rev. Daniel Wilcox and his family as they are living in Seattle while Dan undergoes medical treatments. Join the ladies of Christ First for delicious food and a great cause!

Silent Auction, Door Prizes and More!

Saturday, February 29, 2020
5 PM - 8 PM
Christ First United Methodist Church
2635 S. Old Knik Road, Wasilla

Suggested donation of $5 per person/$20 per family.

Silent Auction donations welcome. You may bring to the Special Session this week where they will be picked up by a Christ First UMC member. All proceeds benefit Pastor Daniel Wilcox and family. Thank you!

We ask for continued prayers for Dan and his family.
Clear Appointment Openings
The appointive cabinets of the Greater Northwest Area and the Bishop are continuing the practice of sharing “clear openings,” those church appointments that are open due to retirements and other changes, as the appointment process unfolds.

On the Greater Northwest Area website you'll find a current list of clear openings which will be updated as new openings are created by announced appointments. You will also find instructions regarding the process. Please read these instructions carefully as it is expected that clergy will follow them as described.

First UMC Anchorage offering grants
The First United Methodist Church Foundation is accepting applications for grants to be used as educational benefits, scholarships, out-reach to the community and the world, and capital projects of First United Methodist Church, Anchorage. Applications should be a concise request using the form provided by First United Methodist Church, Anchorage and can be found on the FUMC website or the church office. Submissions must be received by February 21, 2020 at the street address given below. Award recipients will be notified in March 2020.
 
FUMC Foundation - Grants
725 W 9th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501

907-272-2112
National News
Africa University founding father dies at 87
The Rev. John Wesley Z. Kurewa, a founding father and first vice chancellor of Africa University, is being remembered as "a prophet of extraordinary gentleness" who followed the direction of the Holy Spirit in every decision and move he made. Kurewa died Feb. 15 at age 87.

Delegates name GC2020 legislative goals
The 16 first-elected delegates of the Western Jurisdiction announced that they see the proposed Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation as "a promising option." They see the 2020 General Conference legislation as working in tandem with the proposed Christmas Covenant.

Church giving overcomes worst fears
The aftermath of the contentious special General Conference saw a plunge in giving to denomination-wide ministries. By the end of 2019, apportionment collection rates had exceeded the most dire projections.

Conference urged to reopen misconduct case
United Methodist clergywomen and interfaith leaders have circulated letters urging the West Ohio Conference to reopen the complaint against the Rev. Donald "Bud" Heckman, who was accused of sexual misconduct and abuse. More than 800 people have signed.

Kenyan church fights female genital mutilation
The United Methodist Church in Kenya is offering camps and counseling for girls in an effort to fight against female genital mutilation. Trinity United Methodist Church has created a way for girls to move ceremoniously from childhood to adulthood without undergoing the cut.

Offering yields $4,300 for school lunches
Meadowcreek United Methodist Church (OK) recently donated more than $4,300 to the Collinsville Public School's Angel Fund, which pays for hot lunches for students who could not otherwise afford them. The Rev. Mark Whitley, Meadowcreek's pastor, hopes one day to create a designated fund to ensure there is enough money for all students to have a hot meal every day.

Connectional Table offers live webinar on U.S. Regional Conference legislation
On February 20, the UMC's Connectional Table will host a live webinar entitled "Five Things to Know About U.S. Regional Conference before GC 2020." The webinar will address questions and concerns about legislation submitted to General Conference 2020 for consideration.

Layman offers Plain Grace Plan
Memphis Conference layman Frank Holbrook has submitted to the 2020 General Conference his own Plain Grace Plan for the future of The United Methodist Church. He says it "focuses on the means of multiplying witness and not the underlying disputes" about doctrine or social issues. Lane Gardner Camp reports on the effort by Holbrook, a retired lawyer and certified mediator.

Discover your spiritual gifts
Christian believers can discover their spiritual gifts and how to use them with a new online tool and other resources available from Discipleship Ministries.

The resources include The Spiritual Gifts Assessment Inventory tool, which can help people learn how to use their God-given spiritual attributes to become intentional disciple-makers.

People can discover their spiritual gifts either by individually using The Spiritual Gifts Assessment Inventory tool online here or in a group setting with the Spiritual Gifts Interview Method.

The online tool, which covers 20 of the spiritual gifts found in Romans, I Corinthians and Ephesians, allows people to respond to 80 questions. They receive an email identifying five gifts in a weighted order determined by their responses.
Greater NW Cabinet continues to #ResistHarm with MLK reflection
The Greater Northwest Area Cabinet continued its commitment to #ResistHarm on Tuesday, February 11 during their regularly scheduled Cabinet meeting in Salem, OR.

In honor of Black History Month (and Valentine’s Day) members of the Cabinet dressed in red and read excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon entitled, “A Knock at Midnight” published in King’s book, “Strength to Love.”

The powerful sermon is based on the parable from Luke 11. It compares the story of a visitor who knocks on the door of a friend at midnight seeking bread — and is denied — to spiritually hungry people knocking on the door of the church and being denied. King equates midnight in the parable to the circumstances of darkness in our world to suggest that it is midnight for us as well.

Mission Volunteer Training
Mission Volunteers are individuals or couples (ages 18 and up), who seek long-term partnerships with communities around the world. Mission Volunteer opportunities are diverse and range from working with refugees, children and youth, serving as a teacher, pastor, camp director or health care professional. The length of service ranges from two months to more than two years. To be a Mission Volunteer, apply online to attend an upcoming training where you will be prepared for partnership and mission in the world.

April 22 – 25th, 2020
Lake Williamson Christian Center
17280 Lakeside Drive
Carlinville, IL 62626
Nearest airport – St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)

Interview with Julia Frisbie from the Northwest UM Foundation
Interviewer: Tell us about your foundation.

Julia: Sure! Our job is to help United Methodist churches and institutions in the northwest be financially healthy for the long run. Think of the Foundation as a cross between a satellite planned giving office, a community foundation, and an investment broker. It's regionally specific, and it's part of the UMC connection. Even though we're independent from the annual conferences and are not funded by apportionments, we still see our work as a ministry. We help churches with planned giving, loans, grants, endowment consultation, ethical investing... basically we get to be cheerleaders and behind-the-scenes supporters for a bunch of incredible mission happening in the northwest!

Conference Calendar
20-22: Winter Rendezvous and Special Session
6-13: Carlo on vacation
7: Leadership Team meeting
8: Daylight Savings Time begins
15-17: GNW Cabinet - Carlo attending
17: St. Patrick's Day
18-20: NLI - Carlo attending
19-21: GBGM Board Meeting - Carlo attending
Upcoming Clergy Birthdays

February 19 -
Steve Fisher

March 23 -
Bob Jones
Conference Office
907-333-5050

Superintendent Carlo
907-854-8340

The NEW Conference Office hours are:

Monday - Friday: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Submissions - If you have an article or event that you would like to share with the rest of the conference, submit it to the conference office by Tuesday at 9:00 am for consideration.
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Mission Statement:
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Held and supported by the transforming relationship with God through Christ, we of the Alaska United Methodist Conference seek to be a community that creates a home for all peoples, finds our hope through grace and journeys together in God's preferred future.
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